CHAPTER 4

FLYING BOMBS AND ROCKETS (or VI and V2)

(Certain details have had to be omitted for " security reasons.")

Forewarned

In the early part of 1944 a very " hush-hush " conference was held at London Region at which Controllers were informed that information had been received from the Intelligence Service indicating that we could expect either or both of two new types of missiles, the one being a Pilotless Aircraft and the other a Rocket Bomb.

The Pilotless Aircraft might be radio-controlled on the lines of the " Queen Bee " plane which caused such a sensation pre-war. The Rocket might carry a ten-ton explosive load and, if so, would cause damage and casualties over a large area. Both the Flying Bombs and the Rocket would be launched from the Continent and, as our bombing proceeded, it became clear in the following months that the sites were believed to be in the Pas de Calais area.

At the Regional Conference it was stated that the margin of error for a Rocket travelling some 150-200 miles would probably be about five miles. This was of very little comfort to me for Walthamstow is about six miles from the City of London and I (and others) urged that the public should be given some advance warning and information as to possibilities.

We argued that the enemy already knew what he had in store for us and that we gave no information to him by warning our own people. On the other hand, advance warnings would not weaken but strengthen the morale of our people, for it is the unknown which is most terrible. In response we were told that the decision taken by the highest authority was that there must be no information published and that we were not at liberty ourselves to give any information except to a limited number of specified Heads of Services.

The position was very unsatisfactory, the more so as a few days previously the newspapers had published most of the information which had just been given to us but had published it in such a form as to discredit it!

Part I - General

Part IIa - The Services

Part IIb - The Services

Part III - The Story of the Raids

Part IV - Flying Bombs & Rockets

Part V - To the Unknown Citizen